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Thursday, 10 April 2014

Do you teach like Yoda?

Just as people have individual learning styles, teachers have a preferred teaching style which works best for them, it is important however, to alter your teaching style to match the learning styles of your pupils. My own teaching styles changes depending on lots of different variables such as: the type of lesson, the dominance of boys or girls in the class, the time of year, the general mood of the class or indeed myself.

The teaching styles I use are often linked to characters from books or films I have watched:

This teaching style is most suited boy heavy classes of all ages as they know who Yoda is thanks to the Star Wars Movies or more recently, and for younger pupils, via the Lego movies. Yoda teaching is particularly useful when teaching children how to construct a sentence. I am sure we have all encountered those emerging writers who write their sentences the wrong way around just like Yoda. Giving them a few examples of Yoda sentences and telling them that as I and only I am allowed to talk like Yoda really seems to make sense to them. "Write sentences like Yoda you must not or wrong you will be."


It is also useful to teach like Yoda when you are encouraging pupils to 'have a go' and that it is actually OK to make mistakes. This is usually in maths lessons and often with the more able mathematicians who expect a page full of ticks and become really stressed if they know this isn't going to happen because you have actually set them some challenging work. "If no mistake you have made, losing you are. A different game you should play."

Mary Poppins

This is always a popular teaching style and probably one that the girl heavy class might like a bit more. They always love it when I tell them that just like Mary Poppins I too am "Practically perfect in every way." The Mary Poppins teaching style fits very nicely into those days when you want your pupils to let go a little and have some fun (whilst learning of course!) Particularly at the end of the term when you have the much dreaded assessment weeks. 

They might not necessary believe you but at least they approach their assessments with a smile on their faces.
Mary Poppins teaching is also useful for writing, who can fail to be motivated by some of Mary Poppins quotes. "Don't you know everybody's got a fairyland of their own?" and "Anything can happen if you let it" 

Mary Poppins wisdom is ALSO helpful for art and P.S.H.E, tidying up at the end of the day and even lining up to go for lunch or to assembly. For art "Enough is as good as a feast" or in my words, particularly when the glitter is out,  "Less is more." For P.S.H.E "Never judge things by their appearance ...... even carpetbags. I'm sure I never do." For tidying up at the end of a lesson or end of the day "In every job to be done their is an element of fun." and finally for lining up, the classic Mary Poppins saying "Spit Spot"

The Teaching Ninja

This style is enjoyed by both boys and girls and is really useful for keeping a potentially challenging class on their toes. "I am a Ninja!" "No you're not..." did you see that?" "See what?" "Exactly!" The Ninja teacher is all seeing, all knowing.

So what is your teaching style? Who do you teach like?